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UK COVID-19 Variant found in Fayette County

FAYETTE COUNTY, W.Va. (WVVA) - The Fayette County Health Department reports that lab results have detected the first case of the highly infectious COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7 in Fayette County.

This discovery marks the first cases of the variant in the southern area of West Virginia.

"This is a reminder that even though COVID seems less of a threat, we need to continue using all our tools to prevent another surge," said Fayette County Health Officer, Dr. Anita Stewart. "Wear masks in public, continue to physically distance, avoid both indoor and large gatherings and get vaccinated when it's your turn."

Studies suggest that the three vaccines available in the US provide strong protection against the UK variant.

Dr. Stewart says that there are likely many cases in Fayette County that have not been detected yet.

"We can't say how widespread it is in Fayette County, but it's concerning. We are seeing an uptick in cases over the last week, we must continue to be vigilant," Stewart said.

The variant was found during laboratory surveillance work.

Stay with WVVA for updates on this story.

Taylor Hall

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